After only a few minutes of jury deliberation, an Arkansas man who was captured on camera during the incident on January 6 with his feet up on a desk in Nancy Pelosi’s office was found guilty on all charges.
In 2021, Richard Barnett was charged with eight offenses related to the uprising, including stealing from the government. He repeatedly stated in court last week that he regretted what took on that day at the Capitol but did not think his actions were unlawful.
Outside the courthouse, Barnett told the media, “This is not a jury of my peers. I don’t agree with the decision, but I do appreciate the process, and we are surely going to appeal.”
According to Joseph McBride, Barnett’s attorney, Washington’s political landscape differs from that of the rest of the United States, and this, together with the media coverage from January 6, “eviscerated any hope of a fair trial.”
May 3 is the date set for Barnett’s sentencing.
When Barnett was shown on camera lounging in a chair in the speaker’s office with his feet raised and what the government referred to as a “stun device” tucked in his slacks, he quickly became a well-known emblem of the riot. Barnett snatched an envelope from Pelosi’s office before he left, which he later exhibited in front of the cameras outside the Capitol.
Before the case was turned over to the jury on Friday, Assistant US Attorney Michael Gordon scrutinized Barnett’s account of what happened on January 6 and found inconsistencies in his testimony, clearly infuriating Barnett.
In response to a police officer telling him to leave Pelosi’s office, Barnett, who had earlier in the day promised to apologize to the California lawmaker if she were present in court, testified under cross-examination that his response was, “You need to give up communism.”
Additionally, Barnett acknowledged telling an officer in the Capitol, “We’re at war. You must choose a side. You’ll get harmed if you choose the incorrect side.
Barnett defended his actions, stating that he didn’t think they were illegal on January 6.
“I made some bad mistakes and I regret them, but I don’t think I broke the law,” Barnett said Friday. “I feel like a f—— idiot.”
When asked on Monday if giving testimony might have been a mistake given that the jury only took a few hours to find Barnett guilty of all charges, McBride responded, “We thought that the decision to testify was unequivocally the right one.”
“He had a story that needed to be told,” McBride said. “People needed to know why he came here, what his intentions were and what he did while he was here. The man got up there, and he told the truth, and it didn’t work out for him, but at the end of the day we have no regrets about that choice.”
The FBI and Justice Department’s investigation into the Capitol attack led to 900 arrests and nearly 500 guilty pleas two years after the riot.